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Butternut Squash Soups

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butternut soupButternut Squash with Ginger

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Large Butternut Squash
  2. 2-3 Large Leeks
  3. 4 tsps of shredded fresh ginger
  4. 4-6c of Chicken Stock

Steps the Night Before:

  1. Night before bake the squash – cut in half, oil the cut side and place on baking sheet.
  2. Bake for an hour (tender) at 400F, then cool.
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  3. If you want to keep the soup “bright”, bake it light and lower temperature, so as to not to brown the cut side.  Myself, I like the associated flavor add that is associated with the slight browning of the edges.

Next day:

  1. Melt at medium-low, 1/4c butter.
  2. Chop white part of leek and put in pot..
  3. Add in ginger.
  4. Cook until tender.
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  5. Scoop pulp out of squash.
  6. Add into pot, mixing with leeks.
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  7. Add in 4c Chicken Stock to suit.
  8. Reduce heat, simmer for 25 minutes with pot covered.
  9. Puree.
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  10. Adjust taste and texture to suite with stock, stock and pepper.
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Does not make a large pot of soup, but it is nice to have on a fall day.

Squash with Apple Soup

Ingredients:

  1. 1 Large Butternut Squash (or any winter squash)
  2. 2-3 Large Leeks
  3. 2 Cooking Apples, such as  Cortland
  4. 4-6c of Chicken Stock
  5. 1 tsp of garam masala.
  6. 1/2c Table Cream

Next day

  1. Peel, seed and cube squash into 15mm “bits”
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  2. Melt at medium-low, 1/4c butter.
  3. Chop white part of leek and put in pot.
  4. Add in Apple.
  5. Add in spice.
    1. I have also used cumin and cloves or fresh rosemary, but with the apple and cream, I prefer a combination that more reflects a curry. Thus consider, your preferences for curry, garam masala, cumin and cloves.
  6. Cook until tender.
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  7. Put Squash in.
  8. Add into pot, mixing with leeks.
  9. Let flavours mix (10 minutes),
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  10. Add in Chicken Stock, minimum 4c.
  11. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes with lid on.
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  12. Puree.
  13. Add in cream.

the Pot and other notes

  1. Unsalted butter is a table of the larder, and it is always available, and for this reason, I often do not listed in the ingredients.
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  2. Salt – Maldon Salt Flakes. I have migrated from Northern France Sea Salt to Maldon Flake Salt, as I find is structure does absurd better into the food.
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  3. I am a firm believer that patience with a good cast iron french-dutch oven creates the best soups. If you are looking for a GOOD pot, I recommend to look for a pot where the lid is dimple on the underside to allow water to drip back into the pot. There are other considerations, size and items hard to assess in the store (heat distribution), but look to the old brands that have taken the century to perfect their product.  I am very fond of my Staub (much easier to find now, as Henckel now sells and promotes these pots).
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    I have two smaller French Made Pots with an amazing enamel interior.  I bought these pots many many moons ago for Nabeyaki Udon, but there is no manufacturers name or mark. My searches would indicate the manufacturer-design is no longer with us, otherwise I would buy more and rave about them.
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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/11/12 at 18:39

Posted in Weekend Cooking

Chicken Curry Soup

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chicken curry IMG_8952

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An adaption of a Mulligatawny Soup.

The night before barbecue the chicken and 1-2 onion(s).

The ingredients

  • Butter
  • 2-3 Medium Onions
  • 1 tbsp of Curry Power
  • 1/4 tsp of Garam Masala
  • 4-5 Medium Apples, like Cortland or Sweetango
  • 4-6 cups of Chicken Stock
  • 2-3 cups of cubed Chicken Thighs-Legs
  • 2 carrots, diced – optional
  • 1/2c Table Cream, 18%
  • Green Tabasco

Steps and Notes

Curry and Garam Masala: Curries and Masalas are “mixes of spice”. As most Canadian curries blend to a sweeter side, I like using a blend of a generic curry and a little hot Garam Masala. If at the end of the day, you want a little more “heat”, add some Green Tabasco into your bowl.

Barbecue: Barbecuing transforms vegetabes and meat with its intensity of heat and flaring of oils. So the night before:

  • Cook 1-2 onions, cut in half, softening it and allow some grill marks come out.
  • Cut the dark meat chicken with skin and bones on. I do about 3 minutes on high (oils will flare), then move the chicken in a basket for 3 minutes on medium and then let it cook for 6 minutes on low in the cool corner.

Apples: I prefer cooking apples, such as Cortlands, versus the hard eating Delicious or Granny Smiths, for the juices that release during cooking and how they soften under heat. Some apples, such as “macs” can break down too much, but this is your choice as a cook.

Dutch Oven: Nothing better than a good dutch oven, such as a Staub, when used with patience to make a soup.

  1. Night before:
    1. Cook 1-2 Onions on the Barbecue
    2. Cook Chicken with Skin and Bones On.
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    3. In the morning dice the onions.
    4. For the chicken, remove skins and bones and then tear-break into some cubes.
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  2. In a Pot, combine:
    1. 1/4c Butter or more.
    2. All diced onions.
    3. Curry and Garam Masala
    4. With patiences, soften the onions – 10 minutes+
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  3. Combine Applies, with patience, allow apples to blend juices with butter, curry and onions.
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  4. Mix in flour.
  5. Add in Chicken Stock.
  6. Under medium to low heat, bring to light boil and allow mixture to thicken.
  7. Patience, write a blog or clean the kitchen.
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  8. Add-in Chicen and Carrots.
  9. Lower heat and simmer for 20+ minutes.
  10. Add stock and-or salt to taste.
  11. Add in cream and let the soup heat for 5 minutes.
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  12. It is ready and its flavours will improve over the next 2 days.

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Serve with a Baguette or other similar bread.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/11/05 at 20:33

Posted in Weekend Cooking

Barley Soup with Sausage

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soup_DSC0241

A cool weather favourite.

  • 3-5 Savory firm sausages, sliced thinly
  • 16c of Chicken Stock
  • 1.25c of Pearl Barley
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Olive Oil
  • 2/3 head of Cabbage, sliced in thin ribbons
  • 2 Fresh Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh Parsley, crushed
  • 2 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 3 tbsp, marojam leaves, crushed
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 6-16 small white and-or red new potatoes, quartered
  • salt

Steps

  1. Pot 1 – Combine Sausages, Barley, Bay Leaves and Stock.
    1. You can pre-grill the sausages.
  2. Bring Pot 1 to light boil and then lower heat to simmer.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes.
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  4. Pot 2 – Dutch Oven – grill with Olive Oil to soften Cabbage, but do not burn.
  5. After 10-20 minutes, add in Onion,  Carrots, Parsley, and Rosemary
  6. Continue cooking until Cabbage and Onions until they have sweeten.
  7. Longer cooking the better, as long as the Cabbage and Onion is not burnt. Brown is okay, so occasionally stir with a wooden spatula, but otherwise keep pot lid on.
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  8. Add in Potatoes, Garlic and Marjoram.
  9. Given vegetables 5 minutes together.
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  10. Mix in Pot 1 (Stock, Barley, Sausage) into the Dutch Oven.
  11. Bring to light boil and cook until Potatoes are cooked (not mushy).
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  12. As always, use Salt and a light hand with Green Tabasco to season to taste.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2017/06/15 at 00:48

Posted in Weekend Cooking

Short Rib Ragu

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Judy got the new oven and last weekend, we installed it.  So my first test was small, roasted garlic, but 2 nights ago, I made a Short-Rib Ragu.

ragu 3.jpg

Sorry, I had no fettuccine in the pantry, so I resorted to penne.

Yes, this is Ragu in the northern Italian tradition, versus what we get in the North American stores – vegetable base with little to no meat.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lb Short Ribs (English Cut)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 oz Pancetta, thick slice
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Carrot, Chopped
  • 2c Mushrooms Sliced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Large
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp Green Tabsco
  • 1/2c Vermouth
  • 1 28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatos

Recipe

  1. Add olive oil to dutch oven-pot
  2. Heat pot on stove to medium
  3. Cut off exterior fat off ribs
  4. Brown ribs as individual ribs (and remove)
  5. After browning is complete and ribs removed, reduce heat
  6. Add pancetta and onion, stir and ensure onions are well oiled
  7. Add onions soften, add celery, mushroom and garlic
  8. Cook for 15-30 minutes, occasionally mixing
  9. Add tomato paste and tabsco.
  10. Turn to medium-high
  11. Add wine
  12. Remove any bits off bottom
  13. Add tomatoes
  14. Bring to simmer
  15. Remove off stove
  16. Add in meat and juices
  17. If necessary, add stock to cover ribs
  18. Add a parchment, such that it is just above the ragu
  19. Bake in Oven at 275F
  20. Turn every 45 minutes
  21.  Add stock to cover ribs, if necessary
  22.  Skim fat, if necessary
  23. Cook until meat falls off bones (typically 3+ hrs)
  24. Remove from oven, set aside for 15+ minutes
  25. Remove meat and set aside
  26.  If necessary, use wood spoon to break up tomoatoes
  27. If serving that day, keep sauce warm on stove
  28. When meat is cool enough to handle,
    1.  Remove meat from bones
    2. Dispose of any fat
    3.  Break into bite size chunks
  29. Return meat to pot

Good for 3 days and may be frozen for future pasta dishes.  You can make it a sandwich out of it or as Judy prefers, eat it with Mash Potatoes.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2016/12/23 at 23:30

Posted in Weekend Cooking

Cream of Carrot Soup

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Carrot Soup IMG_5162.jpg

I recently tried another variant, but the following soup has subtle complex and complimentary tastes with orange, ginger, curry and cream that it remains my favourite.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Onion, Coarsely Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Ginger, Minced
  • 1/2 Tsp Curry (free to adjust to taste and the curry you have)
  • 1c Orange Juice
  • 1.5 lbs Carrots, Chopped.
  • 1/2c Cream, Heavy.

Steps

  • At medium to low heat, add butter into 1/4 c stock into your soup pot
  • Melt the butter.
  • Add onion, ginger and curry.
  • Cook until tender, 10+ minutes.
  • Add reminder of stock.
  • Add orange juice.
  • Add carrots.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Puree.
  • Add cream.
  • Good for 3 days.
  • Add Croutons when serving.

There are so many different curries, but pick your favourite or experiment. With the Ginger and Orange, the flavours hint of South-East Asia, but some of the curries from the Madras (or Garam Masalas) can be a good pick to. Just remember, the idea is blending a complex set of flavours and not create a “hot” soup.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2016/12/21 at 22:56

Posted in Weekend Cooking

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Wilson’s New England Seafood Chowder

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seafood chowder IMG_5139.jpg

Despite the title, the key ingredient of any New-England style Seafood Chowder is Bacon.  So do not skip on the bacon, and use your favourite Bacon or Pancetta, as it compliments the clams; otherwise the chowder lacks it hearty meat taste that makes it a winter favourite.  What is my favourite bacon, Danish Style Bacon from Dundas Ontario’s Country Meat Packaging.

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As this does not go through a blender or food processor, remember to chop your meat and vegetables to portions that you want on the soup spoon.

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Best done in a dutch oven on a stove.

Ingredients

  • 12-24 small red-skin potatoes – chopped
  • 12 slices of bacon – sliced in thin sections
  • 1 large onion- chopped
  • 4-8 tablespoons of flour
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1-2 kg of cod or haddock
  • 2 10 oz cans of Cloverleaf Baby Clams
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of table cream (18% fat)
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  • Optional:
    • 36 mussels – steam them before. I usually remove the shells.
    • 12 Small Stone Clams. Clean and with cooks with shells.

Steps

  1. In Pot 1 > Boil Potatoes in lightly salted water – cook, but still firm (10 minutes?). Drain and set aside when complete.
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  2. In Dutch Oven > Fry bacon until soft and lightly cook.
  3. Add onion, and cook until translucent.
  4. Add flour to create a fine covering and absorb all fat juices.
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  5. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Add Baby Clams and Juices. Can add in the optional mussels and Stone Clams.
  7. Add milk, cream and butter.
  8. Add potatoes
  9. Add fish.
  10. Add salt to taste.
  11. Do not let it boil.
  12. Ready in fish is cooked minutes,

Comment

  1. You can add in Shrimp, but shrimp becomes rubbery if kept in a soup over night.
  2. Soup is good for 2 days.
  3. With quality seafood, this is not a cheap soup (seafood here in central Ontario is not cheap).
  4. A traditional hard crust bread goes great with the soup.
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Written by raspberryfisher

2016/12/17 at 21:02

Posted in Weekend Cooking

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Provencal Soup – my summer vegetable soup

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As I continue to move my recipes off my “smart-phone”, so I can cook with my iPad in the kitchen, here is my summer vegetable soup, adapt from the Joy of Cooking.

Provencal Vegetable Soup

Ingredients – adjust to desire

* Olive Oil
* 1 Onion, Chopped.
* 1 Garlic Clove Minced
* 2 Leeks, Chopped.
* 2-6 Thin Carrots, Peeled and Chopped.
* 2-4 Tomatoes, Skinned, Seed & Chopped.
* 4-8 Small Red (or White) Potatoes, Quartered.
* 8c Chicken Stock.
* 1/2c Black Beans, Rised
* Orzo Pasta.
* 1 Small Zucchini, Slice.
* 1 1/2c Green Beans, 1″ Pieces.
* Basil
* Parmesan Cheese.

Actions 

* Warm oil in Dutch Oven on Stove at medium heat.
* Add in Onion, Garlic, Leeks, Garlic, and Carrots; then reduce heat to low
* Cook till tender, 20+ minutes.

* Add in Tomatoes and Potatoes.
* Stir and watch tomatoes infuse (5 minutes)

* Add stock and bring to simmer.
* Cook until potatoes are tender (12 minutes)

* Add in Beans, Zucchini, Orzo and Basil.
* Simmer until the pasta is tender.

* Remove the soup from the heat.
* When serving, add slivers of Parmesan Cheese.

* Keeps for 3 days.

provencal IMG_1865

Oh yes,Orzo is the most under-rated Pasta there is!

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Written by raspberryfisher

2015/07/12 at 20:24

Posted in Weekend Cooking

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